AmCham is a 'must-join' organization for any company of scope or international ambition.
Karlis Cerbulis, Senior Vice President of NCH Advisors, Inc.
FICIL is a business organization made up of the largest foreign investors in Latvia and 11 chambers of commerce. FICIL's mission is to improve the business environment and grow foreign investments in Latvia through an active dialogue with the government. Since 1999 FICIL meets annually with the Latvian government at a High Council meeting, providing expertise and recommendations on Latvia's economic development.
As a member of FICIL, AmCham invites its members to participate or continue taking part in the following working groups of FICIL:
Anti Organised Crime work group
Leader: Iain Kennedy (BALTA)
The work group focuses on issues relating to organised crime in Latvia. Since 2017 there have been several organised property robbery cases where goods have been stolen from trade and manufacturing companies in Latvia. The work group is highlighting business recommendations in effectively combating these type of crimes as well as promoting further cooperation among the public and private sector.
Fair Competition and Public Procurement work group
Leader: Māris Butāns (PWC), Dita Dzērviniece (PWC)
The Fair competition and public procurement work group focuses on issues relating to fair competition distortion and corruption prevention to facilitate an honest and transparent business environment. To create a level playing field for all businesses across various sectors, FICIL is also focused on the efficiency and fair competition during public procurement processes.
Food and Drink Industry work group
Leader: Nele Normak (Coca-Cola)
The work group covers topicalities regarding sugar tax, initiatives in product labelling, reviews planed policy regarding sweeteners, looks at topicalities regarding food waste issue and EU proposed rules in plastic reduction. Discussion surrounding EU initiatives in the sector also take place during work group meetings, strong focus is placed on promotion of sustainable business practices to raise competitiveness.
Digitalisation work group
Leader: Renārs Rūsis (Swedbank)
The Digitalisation work group is reviewing current IT policies and legislative acts that regulate digitalisation field. Coming out from that analysis, the work group is focusing on centralised responsibility of the digital transformation of Latvia and governance of IT policy, improvements of G2B interaction, further development of e-Identification solutions and clear digital agenda for Latvia for the next 5 years.
Construction work group
Leader: Ilze Kramiņa, Zanda Zaļuma (Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns)
The FICIL Construction work group has been a very active participant of the Latvian legal environment, contributing to the improvement of the construction regulations and investment environment in all governmental levels. The work group has proposed reviewing the construction legislation with respect to the liability of the construction process participants and looking for other ways to improve the regulation.
Education work group
Leader: Claudio Rivera (Riga Business School)
The work group deals with issues related to education, especially higher education. The work group has been actively advocating for improvements of the governance of Latvian universities to ensure quality of higher education. Other work group priorities are related with fragmentation of recourses in higher education, matching labour market demand and supply of education system. The work group has been vocal addressing principles of cooperation and internationalisation of higher education.
Green Economy Development work group
Leader: Dace Cīrule
The work group deals with issues related to green economy development, European Union climate goals, energy sector and waste management policy. Clarify the terms for potential implementation of the deposit system in Latvia and turning waste into resource by promoting material and energy recovery are the priorities in the waste management field. In the field of energy sector policy work group recommends to adopt integrated national energy and climate change plan and promote cost efficiency in the Renewable Energy Policy, demand de-carbonization also from non-ETS sectors and consistency and predictability regarding Mandatory Procurement Component reforms.
Healthcare sector issues work group
Leader: Daina Dzirkale (GlaxoSmithKline)
Given that the healthcare system is an important topic for every entrepreneur, FICIL has established the Healthcare issues work group with an aim to provide recommendations based on experience of people. The main focus is on access to healthcare: physical, information and economic access, with a continued aim to increase system effectiveness. An important aspect the work group is discussing is data availability and quality in the healthcare sector.
Anti corruption, economic crime and shadow economy work group
Leaders: Ulvis Jankavs (SEB), Andris Lazdiņš (Ellex Klavins)
The work group is working on recommendation for Latvian government to improve legal regulation to be in line with principles of justice, rule of law and transparency. Strong focus is on combating corruption, shadow economy, money laundering offences and other economic and financial crime. The work group develops recommendations to facilitate efficient investigation and prosecution of said crimes.
Investment protection and Court efficiency work group
Leader: Māris Vainovskis (Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns)
The work group looks into the existing business legislation and the rule of law which are among most significant factors for investment decisions. The work group is dealing with proposals to improve the quality of business and investment framework to make Latvia more attractive place for investment. Apart from quality of business legislation, court system effeciency and improvements in the Comercial Law makes large part of the work group's agenda.
Intellectual Property Protection work group
Leader: Ingrīda Kariņa-Bērziņa
Intellectual property protection work group reviews legislation related to intellectual property rights and gives its recommendation to the Latvian government for improvement of legal acts. Focus is placed on Copyright law, specifically authors rights, including moral rights and reasonable rights for the author to revoke their work.
Labour Force Issues work group
Leader: Irina Kostina (Ellex Klavins)
The work group has been working on policy and legal issues related to the quality of skilled labour and smart immigration policy, matching employee skills with labour market needs. FICIL believes that workforce should be made more accessible, improvement of the infrastructure is required in order to attract investments and labour force. Strong focus is also on sick leave certificate issuance control mechanisms.
Tax Policy and Administration work group
Leaders: Vita Sakne (PwC), Baiba Strupiša (ILCC)
Tax work group is working on issues related to tax administration and policy. The work group is closely following developments in Latvia's tax system and tax administration, and actively coming up with proposals for the State Reveneu Service on how to improve the business environment and investment climate through changes and improvements in tax system and/or administration. Predictable tax policy for business, tax administration and fight against shadow economy are top priorities for the work group.
Transport and Infrastructure Issues work group
Leader: Arnis Kākulis
The work group deals with issues related to transportation policy and logistics issues. The work group has been vocal in raising topics related with transparency of logistics policy and railway tariffs. Currently an important discussion topic is the development of the Rail Baltica project.
If you are interested in taking part in FICIL work groups, please sign up here
AmCham is a great place for networking, exchanging ideas and generating new business directions.
Peteris Kokovkins, Director of Baltic Technology Group